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Managing or Controling Projects?

"In project management, the control process can be replaced with proper standards and guidelines. Too much control is counter-productive." Do you agree or disagree with this view? Provide reasoning for your view.

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Please see response attached, including one relevant article. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

"In project management, the control process can be replaced with proper standards and guidelines. Too much control is counter-productive." Do you agree or disagree with this view? Provide reasoning for your view. Do you agree or disagree with this view? Provide reasoning for your view.

This is an interesting statement that is somewhat controversial, as there are opponents in both camps, and also those who strongly agree with this statement. I would argue that standards and guidelines are more in line with project management as some managers confuse project management with project control. Also, too much control is counter-productive, but at the same time, I do not have a problem, however, with using the word control (versus guidelines and standards) as control measures are important in overall project management. However, too much focus on control can indeed be counter-productive.

Purpose of Control.

· Influencing the factors that create changes to ensure that changes are beneficial.
· Determining that a change has occurred.
· Managing the actual changes when and as they occur. (1996)

One author points this out: The 2000 version leaves the latter two items alone, but changes "beneficial" to "agreed upon" in the first. While I can understand the desire to emphasize the need for approval (which 1996 included as part of "managing the actual changes"), I think the loss of the idea that changes can and should be beneficial is a step backwards. Many executives confuse project management with project control, and I think this change has the potential to reinforce that view. http://www.pmpartners.com/resources/pmforum_96v00.html). Therefore, we must have control techniques in place (i.e., proper standards and guidelines?), there is more to the picture.

Project management is about change - Change is dynamic and projects are managed (participatory management style) NOT controlled (i.e., authoritarian style management). Note: not to be confused with having control measures as mentioned above which is part of project management.

In addition, too much focus on control is counter-productive because it often ignores the human side of project management - mainly that of fostering human resources. Projects are NOT entities, but rather people working together to meet the goals and objectives of the project. The project is about a dynamic process of change and growth toward completion. If controls become the main focus, it ignores the human side of the project. In other words, there has been a shift from the lens of an organization as a machine to an organization as a dynamic process, including project management. (See attached article, p. 8)

What happens when you see a company as a part of nature?

It shifts profoundly how you think about leadership and change. If you use a machine lens, you get leaders who are trying to drive change through formal change and control programs. If you use a living-systems lens, you get leaders who approach change as if they were growing something, rather than just "changing" something. Even on a large scale, nature doesn't change things mechanically: You don't just pull out the old and replace it with the new. Something new grows, and it eventually supplants the old. You see the same thing at the level of behaviors: If new behaviors are more effective than old behaviors, then the new behaviors win out. That insight gives us a doorway into a different way to think about how enterprises might change: What if we thought of organizational change as the interplay among ...

Solution Summary

In reference to the statement: "In project management, the control process can be replaced with proper standards and guidelines. Too much control is counter-productive, " this solution provides evidence in terms of whether to agree or disagree with this view. Supplemented with a highly informative article titled, "Project Management Body of Knowledge."

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